Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Obsession Monday

I am a book-a-holic. One of my very favorite ways to spend an hour or two (or more) is at a library or bookstore. I have a very good friend who, although she has loved, accepted and supported me in every way imaginable for more than 10 years now, pretty much refuses to set foot inside a bookstore with me. She enjoys reading but just does not get the same thrill from losing all sense of time from sharing an afternoon with a teetering tall stack of books that I do. Luckily, my guy has almost the same level of affection (and need) for passing the time in this way as I do, and we often have "date night" at Third Place Books-one of our favorite local independent bookstores. It is an evening that is made even lovlier by the fact that there is a coffeehouse next door and on weekend evenings we can also enjoy live music as we sit & sip & share whatever has caught our interest in the books we have collected to browse. We feel the same affaction for our local library and spend an hour or so there weekly, resulting in several stacks of books sitting in various places (and stages of being read) thoughout our house. We have a routine of reading several preschool-age kids books to one another as we have our morning coffee, and end most days with an hour of reading while snuggled up in bed. Currently my library book pile in the bistro numbers 13, on my nightstand rests 3 others, near my laptop (waiting for copies of several pages to be made) lay 2 (plus 2 library music CD's to burn) and behind the family room chair are about 7 more waiting for their turn at being read/browsed through. I am not going to go count up Jeff's various piles but I would estimate that he has at least 15 books checked out right now as well! Oh, and did I mention the full bookshelves in our front room, bistro, bedroom  and office which hold our personal collection of the easily several hundred books we OWN?! Yep, we are bonafide bookworms!

My subject matter interest matches my personality too- it is pretty much all over the place-from art to history to travel to architecture to kid lit to comedy to health to self-help to nature to fashion to spirituality to cookbooks. I suppose am like that in most of the main areas of my life-a sort of "jill of all trades but mistress of none"! Well rounded "Renaissance" woman? Or just someone with a short attention span?! I prefer the former to the latter, and strive to be open and interested in just about anything and everything I can discover more about which enriches, enlarges and engages me in life!

So all of that being said...I thought I'd start dedicating my Monday blogs to sharing one of my current reads with you!

A few days ago, from my aforementioned large library stash, I started reading this book:

I began eating vegetarian about 4 years ago, as part of my committment to a serious overhaul of my lifetime of horrible eating habits. Although I would describe myself as being a "moreso-than-the-average- person" animal afficianado all of my life, I have to admit that like most people (and as the topic of this book explains & explores), I remained ignorant/innocent/oblivious to the (at least subconciously) known reality/realization of how that practicaly daily consumed cheeseburger or other meat course was once one of the sweet, darling cows that melted my heart with their huge old-soul eyes and often "mooed" in affection out loud to as I passed on rural roads. I also never even gave a moments thought to HOW that "transformation" from adored animal to craved meal occured. And I also must admit that depite my adoration of animals of all kinds, the main reason I initially stopped eating meat was out of concern about my own health and well being.

A short time later, I started finding out much more than I ever imagined or, more likely, wanted to accept, about the meat and factory farming industries. It opened my eyes and wounded my heart and kick-started my feelings of shameful amazement that I could have been so blind to the reality for so long, along with the guilt that I had been an active contributor, supportor and perpetuator of such horrifying actions.

I believe in everyones right and freedom to make their own choices. But I also believe that the choices we each make, especially if they affect others, should be made with conciousness, awareness and knowledge about just exactly what that affect is or could be. To paraphrase my daddy-"do whatever makes you happy, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else". That is such a noble and admirable mantra to live by, but can obviously be challenging as well. What if you don't KNOW that you are hurting others by your choice? but then again, of course, everyone who eats meat KNOWS that the animal had to die for you to have it sitting on your plate as your meatloaf dinner. And unless that animal died accidently or from natural causes then obviously it had to have been murdered. You've heard the saying "meat is murder"? I'm sure that everyone, on some level, realizes that is a factual statement. But unless you also have the knowledge of the details of that murder, you are not making a concious, aware, informed choice about your decision/action to eat meat.

The main idea of this particular book-that the widely accepted attitude and practice of any so-called/thought of "lesser than" living creature being merely a commodity is the root cause of all disharmony on earth-involves a very serious personal issue and concern of mine, so it is very interesting for me to explore yet another facet to the very involved subject of meat eating. If you at all consider yourself to be a compassionate person or feel any affection for animals, you might want to have a look at this book. I am only on page 37 so far and although I am finding the writing to require much mental concentration, I am interested in and intrigued by the concept that much of the worlds current state of widespread planetary chaos is directly (if not solely) connected to and caused by the (unnecesary) practice of the majority of Earths inhabitants remaining a "herding society".

I accept that most of my friends think of me as being a bit annoying in my quest to share what I have learned. And am learning more about every single day. I share just a small amount of that with people I care about. And probably even more with people I don't know well (such as with a link to a website, article or video on my Facebook page, in the content of this blog or when I am out in public wearing a vegetarian pomoting t-shirt or button).

And I am going to stop there because this was not intended to be ranting post (and I feel myself "going there"). I really just wanted this to be the first of an every Monday post to share the latest book I have come across which I feel called to share with you. And of course, I will always have a little to say about the books topic, why I have an interest in it and why you might like reading it too!

Now, after all of that serious and close-to-my-heart information being said and shared, I am also including a peek at one of the other books I am currently enjoying...

(and in case you cannot read it under the library scan sticker, that first word in the title is GETTING) show you just how well-rounded I am capable of being!
I have always admired and adored Molly, as an actress and person, and so far, this is not just a fun, frivolous read but also explores an important topic: how to discover, celebrate, nuture and maintain being a true and authentic YOU and not just the you that is created by all of the many other roles you play throughout your life (employee, daughter, sibling, mom, wife, grandma, etc.) Check it out too-especially if you are needing some "just-for/about-me" support.

As you can see (and might also feel), I believe that books are an important way to explore, discover, understand and nuture the varying facets and nuances which make me who I am. They are a wonderful source for helping me to feel that I have the knowledge and ability to create a better life for myself and others, and that is a very important part of what creates a
Happy Me-Laurie Z!


  1. Laurie, I admire your passion.

  2. thank you Gail-I appreciate your acceptance and support, AND thank you for reading my blog! :)